Kevin Durant has turned what was an uneventful free agency into a game changer. Not only did he leave Oklahoma City where he has played every season but his rookie season, when the Thunder were the Seattle SuperSonics, but he has joined a team that can already win on its own and doesn't need him.
Durant is being ripped by fans and experts all over social media, and rightfully so. His move was weak and was the wrong step in his career, despite what he thinks. Even if he wins a couple of championships with the Warriors, so what...? The team has already won one with the same roster he just joined, and they are coming off of the greatest regular season of all-time. What's the point of that KD?
Durant was one of the most loved players in the league before he went to Golden State. He can kiss that goodbye. Now, he might be the most hated. At least he has the Warriors fans to support him. But who knows, in a few years people might forget about this and he will go back to being the KD people know and love. After all, he only signed a two-year deal with a player option after the first year.
15 Has to Make Another Decision Next Year
Now, since Durant signed a two-year deal with a player option after the first year, he could possibly be out after just one season. That won't likely be the case but he will probably opt out next year to restructure his deal and if things don't go well this upcoming season he could be out of Oakland. Who knows how the Warriors will be able to keep all of their players even with the rising salary cap.
No one knows these days with Durant. He could do anything at this point and it wouldn't surprise me, he just isn't the same person that he used to be. If he leaves the Warriors after one season he will have pissed off yet another franchise and its fan base. I think it is very unlikely that he leaves, but he does have an "out" if things go absolutely terribly. I can only imagine the huge deal he will get after next season, though.
14 Community Work He Did in OKC
I'm not quite sure why Durant would want to leave the community of Oklahoma City after doing so much for them. It's like all of his work goes to waste. Not only does he have a restaurant in Oklahoma, but he also has helped rebuild homes in Oklahoma that were destroyed by tornadoes. When the city was down to rubble he helped rebuild it.
I know if I helped build something and helped a community as much as Durant did, I would want to stay and continue to make a difference for the people that supported me night in and night out. Why would he leave behind such a strong community that he put so much time and effort into? Sure, KD could do things for the community in Oakland but he will be greatly missed by the people and kids of Oklahoma City. KD had the life in Oklahoma, and now he has the burden of endearing himself to a whole new city.
13 The Money
Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors to a two-year $54 million deal. That equates to $27 million a year. Yeah, that's great money, but compared to what Mike Conley is getting, it really isn't. Durant is taking a pay cut in order to play with the Warriors. It's not the biggest deal for athletes to take a pay cut, but many athletes do go broke after their career so they have to make the most out of their time in the league. League rules allow the Thunder to sign him to a much bigger deal. His decision was clearly not about the money.
Players often get criticized for choosing the pay over winning, but not in this case. Durant wouldn't have been hated for taking a higher deal with the Thunder than with the Warriors. Carmelo got criticized for it, but that's only because he had no chance of winning a championship in New York.
12 Russell Westbrook
What happened to being Thunder buddies for life? Granted, Westbrook and Durant had a rocky relationship, but they were like brothers. They pushed each other and got the best out of each other. They had their ups and downs but Durant betrayed his brother and one of his best friends. How could you do that to Westbrook? The dynamic duo had so much left in them and they fell one game short this season of making it to their second Finals. Why would he ditch him after everything they've been through?
Some people might say that Westbrook and Durant don't fit well together because they both need the ball. Well, Durant is going to have the same problem in Golden State. If he thinks that playing on the Warriors will let him have the ball more, he is mistaken. I hope Westbrook wasn't the reason he left because he is a reason Durant should have stayed.
11 If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em, Mentality
Paul Pierce said it perfectly, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." He pretty much summed up what everyone was trying to say in a 7-word tweet. That old saying has been expressed many times throughout the years, but it has never been used so literally as it has been with Durant. Kevin Durant's team lost to the Warriors three games in a row after being up 3-1. KD actually joined the team he couldn't beat. The craziest part is, Durant was the main reason that the Thunder choked in the series. He was the deciding factor. It wasn't that the Thunder weren't good enough to beat the Warriors, but he wasn't good enough. The Thunder proved through the first 4 games that they were good enough to beat the Warriors.
Wouldn't it be great to see the Thunder and Russell Westbrook beat the Warriors in the playoffs next season? I wonder if Durant would opt out of his contract and come running back.
10 OKC Fans
Not only did Durant betray his teammates, but he betrayed all of the Oklahoma City fans. The fans loved him. They came to every game, they were loud, they gave him his space, and they treated him like a king. Now, since he left after failing to win a championship and Thunder fans suffered a most excruciating series loss, they are burning his jersey and posting hateful videos all over social media.
Although he is the best player in Thunder history, and the only Thunder player to ever win an MVP, I can't blame the fans for being extremely angry with him. He brought them so far each year, only to break their hearts, but this year he did it twice. It's unfair to the people of Oklahoma that Durant leaves without delivering the only thing that matters, a championship. The fans haven't shied away from expressing how disgusted they are by the move.
9 Kills the Thunder
The Thunder were a true championship-caliber team before Durant left. The GM, owner, and the players are all devastated by the move. Not only does Durant leaving cause them to lose him, but now signing Westbrook to an extension will be next to impossible. Next offseason, Westbrook will also be a free agent, and without his buddy KD, why would he stay? The Thunder were doing everything they could in order to keep Durant but he brushed them off to run off with his new friends. Isn't that cute?
I hope Durant never wins a championship for what he did to the Thunder organization. Sure he's entitled to his own decision and what's best for him, but he had it all in OKC. How could you walk out of the door in such a great situation and ruin the team you had worked so hard to build?
8 8. Hated By Everyone
No one is keeping quiet about how they feel about the Durant decision. That's not a good thing because I'd say about 90 percent of people are unhappy with it. All of this anger will only be stirred up even more if the Warriors win, or if they lose. If the Warriors win people will be complaining that they don't need Durant anyway, but if they lose it will be even worse.
Durant would be the most ridiculed player in NBA history if he doesn't win a championship with the Warriors. If a move that he made strictly to win championships doesn't result in at least one title, he will be thought of as the reason the Warriors didn't win. Durant has so much pressure to fit in or else he will never hear the end of it. Could the addition of Durant possibly ruin the Warriors "chemistry?"
Also, what's the deal with leading on the OKC fans? 90% staying? Sure...That just put the fans over the edge when the news broke.
7 Sets a Bad Precedent for the Rest of the League
What Durant also doesn't realize what he does affects the rest of the league not just himself. Players see him going to join a "super team" and next thing you know, that's the newest thing. Players will be joining already great teams instead of making the team they are on great. This isn't a video game Kevin, this is real life. People thought that LeBron joining the Heat was bad but they weren't already championship contenders. He and Bosh joined Wade to make them a contender. The difference is that Bosh and 'Bron were needed to win while Durant isn't. Nevertheless, that was one of the first "super teams" in recent memory.
If you think back to the Jordan era, he didn't just run to the Pistons after they beat him, he kept competing and won not one, not two, but six championships... the real way. There are also failures, like when the Lakers signed Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. The Warriors could suffer just like L.A. Who knows?
6 The Chemistry
What makes the Warriors such a great team is their shooting and chemistry. They love to make the extra pass to turn a good shot into a great shot. It doesn't matter who shoots, it's all about open threes. Steph Curry would pass up a shot for Draymond Green and vice versa. If KD struggles to score in the first few games he may try to force some shots which won't go over well with the Warriors. There is no way Durant wants to see his scoring decrease. Chemistry is a very fragile team and a better roster doesn't always equate to a better team.
The Warriors are going to have to get Durant to change from being an isolation scorer to a more of a catch and shoot guy. If Durant doesn't force things, he could fit in well, but it's never easy to get another All-Star and ego to fit into an already stacked team. I will say, I am looking forward to watching them play and see how they mesh.
5 Makes the League Less Competitive
The biggest problem the NBA has right now is the number of teams that actually have a chance of winning the championship. Even if you make the playoffs in the NBA, only to about four teams have the chance to actually win the championship each year. The playoffs aren't exciting until the Eastern and Western Conference Finals because they are too predictable. Other than the Cavs, Thunder, Warriors and Spurs, no team could even sniff the finals. Fortunately, other sports aren't like that. The NBA needs to find a fair way to regulate and even out the talent among NBA teams because most teams, even playoff teams, have no shot at the finals.
Now, since Durant has left the Thunder, the league becomes even less competitive. Now, there are three teams that can realistically win the championship which makes it even more uneventful. The salary cap boost is really messing with the balance of the league's talent.
4 The Thunder Just Improved Their Roster
On draft night the Thunder made moves to better their roster and hopefully convince Durant to stay in OKC. Unfortunately, even with the addition of Victor Oladipo, who could tip the scales and finally get OKC the ring they have so desperately searched for, Durant decided to go to the to team who kicked his teammate Steven Adams in the family jewels. That's one way to have your teammate's back...
Poor Victor Oladipo. He just joined the Thunder thinking he was going to be playing with KD, one of the league's best scorers who would help him win games and get open shots, instead Durant takes off before Oladipo even steps onto a court with him. At least the Thunder have added depth now with the addition of Sabonis, Ilyasova, and Oladipo. Westbrook better start working on pronouncing those names.
3 Going Against His Own Words
In 2010, KD tweeted about how super teams are stupid and players should improve their own game and make their own team better. Then what does he do? He runs to the team with the greatest regular season record of all time and a championship under its belt. What happened to that mentality, Kevin? You completely changed sides and contradicted yourself. You are the biggest offender of your own tweet.
I guess you can't take anything these players say seriously anymore. Before this decision, I thought KD was the most genuine NBA player, but now I can't even begin to understand his decision. It's crazy to see how much of a ripple effect his decision has had on the fans and the rest of league. Now with his latest comments on his expensive shoes, I can't say I'm a fan of his anymore. What has gotten into him, he used to be one of the most humble players in the NBA?
2 Ruins His Legacy
In 40 years when people think of Kevin Durant, he won't be thought of as a winner, even if he wins championships with the Warriors. In many people's minds, there will always be an asterisk next to anything he wins with the Warriors. It's just too easy to go there and win. Durant will be thought of as the second fiddle, the guy who couldn't do it as the #1 option. No matter what Steph Curry texted him about not caring who the wins the MVP or who takes the last shot, it is and always will be Steph Curry's team. That's just how it's going to be.
His legacy will be forever tainted just because of this decision. There are no shortcuts in the NBA and KD found that out the hard way. People won't let him forget about this anytime soon either. I can only imagine the mood around the Thunder after losing the greatest player in the team's history.
1 So What If He Wins?
Even if Durant does win championships in Oakland, would it really be his championship?Or would it be Steph Curry's? Curry and the Warriors already have proven that they can win it on their own. If Durant wins one with them, it will just seem like he piggybacked off of their success, which he truly is doing. He thinks that people will want to see him win a ring and then he will be more respected, but you can't take the easy way out to win a ring, you have to earn it. What would truly earn him respect would be to win with the team he and Westbrook built.
Durant probably won't even be the leading scorer on the Warriors, so if they win a championship it won't be all about him. In contrast, if he won with the Thunder he and Westbrook would be hailed as conquering heroes because they finished what they started. And isn't that what it's all about?!